Saturday, September 11, 2010

More words.


So many of you are demanding more than just a two-word explanation of my last post. Dang!

Really, it's been a crazy, but great couple of weeks. Although I guess we might have startled quite a few real-life family and friends with our somewhat "fly-by-night" method to our madness. The thing is -- it just all happened so darn fast that we had no time to call and announce and explain and all of that. And honestly, since the move was such a lightning fast operation, it was actually kind of nice to keep it to ourselves and get moved before telling everyone and dealing with all of the questions.

So here's the skinny for all you Nosey Nellie's out there, haha:

Earlier this year in the spring, we put our house on the market. At the time, that was the decision we thought we needed to make -- to sell our money-guzzling house and get ourselves in better financial straits. For the last few years, we've been Dave Ramsey-ing it up with the best of 'em -- paying off debts, plunking over cash for EVERY last thing, and really changing our financial habits. It's been a great transformation for us. I feel like we could be on a commercial to sell some Dave Ramsey! And the house was the last big hurrah for us that we were going to hand back over and really be able to fast-forward our saving money by doing so. (Not that I was really happy about doing so, letting go of the house, that is. Nosirree. I was not a willing participant, to say the least. And the windows of opportunity weren't exactly flying open for us like we would have liked them to. It was a very confusing place to be for us.)

Then the doors all slammed in our face. There were a lot of factors up in the air that were changing, and it was clearly determined that this was not the path we were supposed to go down right then. We wouldn't be needing to sell our house after all. Lots of hallelujahs went up from this ol' gal -- anyone that knows me knows how very much I loved my house. It was my "forever house" -- as in "you can just go ahead and bury me in the backyard 'cause I ain't going nowheres".

Fast-forward through a beautiful summer full of lots of fun and amazing adventures. We enjoyed our pool for the hot months and simply continued down our path of Dave Ramsey bliss. Until about a month ago.

The winds began changing again. (You know, kind of Mary Poppin-esque, like how she said when the winds shifted or whatever it would be time to leave.) It became quite clear to us that staying in our house was not going to work out like we thought it was after all, at least not enough for us to stay in it and still move forward financially the way we wanted to. It was clear as day -- we* needed to move and let go. Our beautiful house was the one thing standing between us and a financially beautiful future.

*Um, yeah, I use the term "we" very loosely. When I say "we", I actually mean "me", since my sweet and patient husband had already long come to this conclusion and was having to deal with a very stubborn and uncooperative wife. Yeah, not so proud of this about myself.

For this control freak, personally this was a big thing. That meant once and for all loosening my death grip on my beloved house. For the longest time I had been holding tight with white knuckles (who am I kidding, my knuckles are always snowy white, haha), telling God that I had a better idea of how we could stay in our house for the long haul, how He really needed to rethink His plan and get on my wagon with me. 'Cause it's kind of an ugly truth about my generation. We've got an ugly case of the "me's" going on. Somehow my generation has become jaded in thinking we all need grander houses than our parents had, stainless steel-this and granite-that, remodeled this and remodeled that, and oh, by the way, we want it all now.

Yipes. Thank goodness God has a great sense of humor. Like I could really know better than Him!

This time around, though, I knew that God wanted me to let go. Not just halfway, not just one hand, not just loosen my grip, but let completely go both hands with a willing heart. Dang, that's hard sometimes.

And slowly............and reluctantly................but finally willingly -- I did.

We decided the best path for us would be to find a house to lease for a while, until we figured out exactly what we wanted, what would fit best in our new financial map, and most importantly, to aggressively save even more money over the course of the lease. So we started looking. And it was a little depressing because there weren't many houses in the area we wanted to stay in and for the price we wanted, etc. But I told myself to buck up, get over my selfish nature and just plaster a smile on my face no matter what we found or where we landed. Right when I did that, something popped up on good ol' Craigslist.

The house description was really too good to be true so I was skeptical, but regardless I told my husband to call and jump on it. Unfortunately someone had already beaten us to the punch, but the friend of the owner of the house said he'd show it to us anyway, even though the person before us already told him they wanted it. Thank goodness. We made a new friend, and he ended up recommending us as tenants. Within 36 hours, the house was ours.

So here we sat, only a week or so into this huge decision (that we hadn't told anyone about) with a new house already found, vacant and ready to move in.

Sheesh. I was still getting used to the fact that we really were going to put our house on the market, and here we were with a new house ready to go. I braced myself for the fact that probably within 30-60 days we'd be moving.

Yeah right.

The house wasn't the only quick deal God had in store for us. My husband had called around only to find most movers were booked for several weeks out, but then a last-minute cancellation happened. Oh yeah, not kidding. My husband called me at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon (just four days after learning the house would be ours) to tell me the movers would be there the next morning at 8am.

Hello, we hadn't packed a single thing.

Heck, I hadn't even cleaned my house in a week.

Not to mention we hadn't even really told anybody!

Long story short, we made the decision, found a new place, and moved all within about two weeks.


So so crazy.

Did I mention how crazy it's all been?

But God is so good. I cannot say it enough.

I don't know how to explain it, the fact that I was so very much on the other end of the spectrum emotionally -- upset, mad, not wanting to let go of my house, not excited about all of the unknowns, and definitely not trusting of the big picture I couldn't see -- but the very second I knew I needed to change my heart and attitude and give it up like God was asking, and not just give it all up, mind you, but give it all up and accept with a grateful heart whatever the future held, best-case scenario down to worst-case scenario, be ready to accept any of it before it happened, control-freak issues pushed far to the side -- yes, the very second I resolved all of that in my thick little head, God pushed the fast-forward button on laying it all out for us, clear as day.

New place to live -- check.
Getting moved in -- check.
Loving the new place and actually not even missing the old? -- check.
(Now that was an unexpected bonus blessing I certainly hadn't counted on. Seriously, I looooooooooove our new place. And I promise to do a picture post soon -- you know, after I locate my external hard drive in the sea of boxes so I can actually attach pictures.)

To sum it up -- I thought I had a good idea of what I knew for sure would make me happy if only God would follow MY plan, but He taught me that if I would just hand the reins over to Him, He had way better things planned for me than I could have come up with myself!

Am I the only dense person out there? Poor God has to sure thump me on the head to get me to see things sometimes.

So that, folks, is the skinny. Just a reluctant ol' gal in Oklahoma, slowly learning to change her heart, and thanking God for the journey and lessons learned along the way.

We've still got boxes to unpack and put away, the old house to finish emptying and clean to get ready for sale, and the sale itself. But I'm confident that God will order our steps the rest of the way, just as He's already done. And this time, goshdarnit, I'm not going to speak up and try and tell Him how it should be done! ;)


Happily Ever After said...

How exciting! I LOVE how God always takes of us - every tiny detail!
Someone wise once told me that "God wants better for you than you want for yourself." Sounds so simple, doesn't it? And yet trusting Him so completely is sometimes so hard.
Glad to hear that you're learning to trust more and that He's able to give you more as a result.
Enjoy the new house! Can't wait to see pictures.

Nancy said...

omgosh...we are doing the same thing. We close on a new house on the 20th of this month and start renovations...major renovations...but we know it's the right move for us. closer to grandkids..more land..smaller house..there are just the two of us now...and then we have to put this monster on the market in a down market in a crappy neighborhood.. I wish you luck..

LJ said...

Nope you are not the only dense person in this world. I too am quite dense.
You got a house!!! Congratulations!! Happy House-moon!

Pray~and~Wait said...

That is so incredible and such a blessing...and definitely spoke to me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my old house. I like living in the country and love being married, but I HATE that I had to leave my house. I HATE IT! We had it on the market for a year and it never sold. We took it off and will be putting it for sale again, but this time by owner. Hoping we can lower the price enough to get a new owner. So the part that spoke to me is ACTUALLY letting it go. Every time I go over there, I cry. I don't even have to go in. If I just drive by, I break down. I miss it so much! I know we aren't supposed to live there, but its mine! God has really been convicting me to let it go....and I just keep putting it off. So your story has really convicted me...AGAIN! Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see pictures!

Baloney said...

That is a lesson we are reminded of time and again. Isn't it so much easier when we stop trying to take over?
Loved your story. Can't imagine moving like that.

Nadra said...

So proud of you Val. You are not the only dense person around. God has had to "thump" me on the head many times and say "hey, listen to me". When we do finally listen, it's AMAZING what He can do. Thanks for sharing your story.

Brigitte said...

What a great testimony! Thanks for sharing and congrats on your financial freedom! He IS so good. Can't wait to see pictures of your new place! That is one crazy-fast move. And, btw, I'm sure you could live in a shoebox and still make it look amazing because of your crafty skillz. In an ideal world, I would totally have you come to my place and Martha-Stewart it up. Or at least teach me how to do the same. You rock!

The Busters said...

So excited for you guys and to hear all the details of how it all happened. AND you are not the only dense person!!! :)I think we all need that reminder pretty often!! Can't wait to see pics!! Love you and I'll be thinking of you!!!

Rebekah said...

how cool! Money things always work themselves out when we're being obedient, right?

Can't wait to see pictures of the new place.

Rhonda said...

Thanks for telling your story. I'm impressed with your dedication to financial health, even when it must be such a hard topic. I'm hoping to remember your story next time I have something that I don't want to let God handle on his own.

Rebekah said...

What a great story!

I hope that everything goes well with selling your old house.

Having money in the bank and a smaller house is definitely a great position to be in!